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Lark Hill’s Adam Durrant has confirmed his star filly Tick Tick Bloom is firing on all cylinders ahead of her weekend assignment where she’ll shoot for her third Belmont Park black-type on the trot in the 2014 Belmont Classic.
The impressive Viscount three-year-old has won five of her nine career starts to date, including her past four straight and two most recent in stakes company.
That tidy record is one she’ll be out to improve on this Saturday then with Durrant planning to run her in the $100,000 Listed Belmont Classic (2200m).
Showing plenty of progression as she’s been stepped up in distance this campaign, Tick Tick Bloom was last seen holding off Star Of Husson by a long neck to win the Listed Belmont Oaks (2000m).
After that run Durrant had her as only a 50% chance of progressing onto the Belmont Classic.
He’s since seen from the filly she’s got another run in her, Tick Tick Bloom ticking all the boxes in her recent trackwork.
She’ll be back up against the boys then for the Classic taking on a field of fellow three-year-olds over the 2200m.
“Tick Tick Bloom’s doing well,” Durrant told The West Australian.
“She’s running in the Classic.”
Before the Oaks Tick Tick Bloom broke her black-type maiden on June 21 overcoming a wide barrier 15 (of 15) draw for her nose win over Midnight Shimmer in the Listed Belmont Guineas (1600m).
Durrant is hoping she handles the extra metres this weekend then as Tick Tick Bloom shoots for the Belmont 3YO Triple Crown.
It’s a feat connections of Tick Tick Bloom achieved last year with the fellow Durrant-trained Summah’s Touch who won the Guineas – Oaks – Classic hat-trick in her three run winter campaign.
Regular rider William Pike has ridden Tick Tick Bloom for her past six starts, her only loss having been a luckless effort over the Belmont mile when blocked for a run and caught wide back in May.
Pike lost aboard the odds-on favourite Smoko after a similarly luckless run over the weekend when caught three deep in the Listed Beaufine Stakes (1000m) running second to 41-1 outsider Pininci.
He’ll be looking to atone then in the Belmont Classic aboard Tick Tick Bloom who is also sure to start in the red.
It’s shaping up as a good race however with one of the main dangers being the Darren McAuliffe-trained Proceedwithcaution.
The up-and-coming Trade Fair gelding ran fifth behind Tick Tick Bloom in the Guineas making up late ground after missing the jump to finish only one and a half lengths off her.
He then backed up at the track on July 5 in the $60,000 Dayana Plate (2000m) that they won by two and a half lengths, their winning time (2:09.34) faster than that of the Belmont Oaks winner’s (2:09.36).
McAuliffe then is looking forward to the rematch with Tick Tick Bloom giving Proceedwithcaution the chance to turn the tables, as confirmed by part-owner and the stable’s foreman Geoff Van De Molen.
Also set to back up in the Classic are the next two over the line in the Dayana, the Simon Miller-trained Shalo who recently won over 1650m at the track and Shanghai Grey for Brad Graham.
As for the fillies, another notable female heading towards the Classic is Cliff Smith’s Belmont Oaks third placegetter I’m Feeling Lucky.
The daughter of Bletchely Park was two and a half off Tick Tick Bloom in the Oaks when stepping up from a mile to 2000m, her run hampered by the outside barrier 13 draw.
Northam-based Smith then is hoping she has better luck in the Belmont Classic barrier draw this week.
“She was dropped out from 13 in the Oaks,” Smith said.
“The filly came from a long way back on straightening.
“Shaun O’Donnell will ride her again [on Saturday].”
The Belmont Classic 2014 final field of acceptors is due for release on Wednesday so stay tuned.
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